How to become a therapist | Career steps to follow

How to become a therapist

/ 12:26 PM March 28, 2021

Do you want to know how to become a therapist? Do you know what the process is? If you want to become one, we have great news for you. In this article, we will go through becoming a therapist and what it is.

What is a Therapist?

What is a therapist?

A therapist has many different meanings based on how you look at them. First, a counselor is a professional who is trained to give patients treatment and rehabilitation.


They can be a counselor, social worker, psychologist, life coach, and more. There are marriage and family counselors as well. There is an occupational one who works with clients in a hospital or school setting.

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Social work can fall into the therapist category as well. Many of them have their private practice.

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They can work with individuals or groups. They want to help their clients strengthen their relationships, family, or marriage. Some counselors work with patients who need help with overcoming addictions and emotional issues.

Therapists are not allowed to prescribe medication. What they define are other treatments that help their clients in other ways. As you see, becoming one could lead to many different career paths.

Counselors help their clients to make healthy decisions for their lives. Clients trust them, and they share their problems, thoughts, and struggles with them.

Types of Therapists

Types of Therapists

There are several different types of therapists. Becoming one of them will be a rewarding career, and if you genuinely have a love for helping people, one of these is perfect.


Types of therapists include Social workers, marriage and family, counselors, occupational therapists, psychologists, etc.

Therapists can also be mental health professionals and substance abuse therapists as well. Usually, they work in a hospital-type setting. Some of them can work in jails and prisons with convicted felons. They can also work in rehabilitation facilities.

How Many Years Does it Take to Become a Therapist?

Becoming one takes school and several years to complete. It is required on how to become a therapist that you have an undergraduate degree. Most of these jobs require a Master’s degree also.

It will take 3 to 4 years to get the Bachelor’s degree. Then to get your Master’s degree, it will take you about 2 to 3 years. Some therapists enroll in a doctoral degree program, which will take 5 to 7 years to get.

Once you have gotten your Master’s degree, you must then take clinical hours to earn your license. On how to become a therapist, one must know that it requires licensing, which is the final step. Before taking your certification or licensing exam, you must complete two years of clinical and supervised experience.

You are also required to have a license to begin practicing therapy. States licensing will vary from state to state. If you are interested in how to become a therapist, check your state’s guidelines for more information.

For more information about degree requirements, you can search many different websites or your state’s data. You may want to increase your pay by taking additional certifications. This will give you more chances and opportunities to broaden your job search.

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Is it Hard to Get a Job as a Therapist?

Is it hard to get a job as a therapist?

When thinking about how to become a therapist, the question that may be on your mind is finding a job quickly. There are many those who may have just gotten their license in therapy.

If you are not experienced, you may have some setbacks with finding a therapy job. Do not get discouraged. The US Department of Labor discusses how there is a “19-36% increase for therapists by 2022.”

How Much Does the Therapist Make?

The bureau of labor statistics reported that school counselors make an average of $57,000 per year. This includes elementary, middle, and high school counselors. These people help students with academics and social skills too.

Psychologists make on average $80,370 a year. This profession will grow by 14% by 2028. Those who want to go into the substance abuse, behavioral disorder, or mental health fields make about $ 46,000 a year.

Marriage and family counselors make on average $50,000 per year. Depending on where you are located, your salary will vary. Having a doctoral degree can increase your wages also.

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Is a therapist a stressful job?

stressful job?

Being a therapist can be a stressful job. Some situations could cause stress if you are a one. It can be easy to take your job home with you and feel bad for the patients you help.

Setting boundaries with yourself and your work is an excellent way to help avoid stressful thoughts and situations. You should understand what causes the stress for you being one and not letting stress take over.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can someone find a therapist?

If you are looking for a therapist, ask your friends and family if they can refer you to someone they know. Put some research into finding one. Many therapy websites provide potential clients with information.

What are the clinical hours like for therapists?

You are of the requirement to work a minimum number of hours under supervision. This can be consulting patients and clients, supporting individuals or families.

Why is Clinical Supervision Important?

You will learn more about therapists’ jobs, and you will; gain experience that you need to get licensed and pass the state exam.

How can I find clinical supervision opportunities?

Your advisors in school can point you in the right direction. Sometimes your professors will help you sign up too.

Can I be an online therapist?

Since the pandemic, more and more jobs are going virtual, and so are therapists. If you want to try virtual therapy, research some job sites and your state sites for different requirements.


In summary, how to become a therapist takes some time and patience, but if you have a love for helping others, this could be a great career path for you.

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TAGS: behavioral therapy, how to, Jobs, psychotherapy
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